George M. Bodner, Immediate Past-Chair, ACS Division of Chemical Education, Spring 2013

I would like to start my column by thanking all of the people who helped make my term as chair of DivCHED such a delightful experience. I had both the pleasure and the privilege of working with Arlene Russell, as immediate past chair, and Frank Torre, as chair-elect, as members of the DivCHED chair succession. One of the ideas the three of us implemented was a series of open-ended meetings, starting with a “fly-in” meeting in Chicago at the beginning of the year, and then continuing at both national ACS meetings and during the BCCE at Penn State.

I have commented in previous newsletters about progress being made by the  Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) project known as the Science and Mathematics Teacher Imperative (SMTI). The National Research Council of the National Academy of Science managed the first step toward the creation of a new set of science standards by developing the Framework for K-12 Science Education. This framework was the basis of the creation of the Next Generation Science Standards, which can be found at the following URL:  www.nextgenscience.org.

This website describes the development of the standards, why science standards are important, the Next Generation Science Standards released in Jaanuary, and information about the implementation of these standards.

In April, 2012, a new organization known as the Two-Year College Advisory Board (TYYCAB) was created on the basis of recommendations made by a SOCED Task Force on Two-Year College Activities. TYCAB will serve as an advisory body to the recently created ACS Office of Two-Year Colleges (OTYC). The TYCAB charter notes that at least half of its members will come from the two-year college community. Other members will include representatives from the DivCHED Executive Committee, the Society Committee on Education (SOCED), the ACS Committee on Professional Training (CPT), the ACS Committee on Minority Affairs, and the chemical industry. TYCAB working groups have already produced recommendations for action.

Last year, I reported that a significant fraction of the open session of the DivCHED Executive Committee meeting held just prior to the ACS meeting in San Diego was devoted to a discussion of two documents. One was a report entitled “Exploring the Feasibility of a High School Chemistry Teacher Association,” which was based on a study of a sample population of 17,000 high school chemistry teachers carried out by the ACS Department of Member Research and Technology. The other was a report to DivCHED and the Society Committee on Education (SOCED) from a Task Force for the Exploration of a Chemistry Teachers Association. At that time, I noted that the Task Force was created “to explore avenues for creating a chemistry teachers association or affiliation under the ACS umbrella that would meet the needs of middle and high school teachers.” At the San Diego ACS meeting, unanimous support for the creation of an association of chemistry teachers was expressed by both SOCED and the group attending the DivCHED ExComm open session. This year, I have the honor of noting that a proposal to create an association of chemistry teachers is before the ACS Board of Directors. I hope to focus my comments for the next DivCHED newsletter on this effort.

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